As a kid,
I liked to draw with a pencil
I put all my fears in a graphite tip
And turned myself into a great king
With palaces along the beach,
A bullet-proof limousine beyond reach,
A furious dog no one could approach.
My pencil was so light and so fast
To imagine and reimagine a life with no limit.
Stylish stars and shining spaces
Bring delight so big to my little heart.
As an adult,
All my dreams were erased, brushed off
Like rubbery dust from a copybook;
I stranded like an outcast.
My sore soul surrendered in disgust.
My cold cottage inside the miserable Karyan
Was shared with four skinny hens, an old fisherman,
A cat chasing a rat,
And a mother with a broken heart.
It was an affront to my pride
To spend my formative years as a helpless and unpromising child.
They say it was written and ordered
That my pencil broke into pieces;
My dreams faded under the midday sun
I, a new son of the lost Beat Generation,
Stood up with no zeal to draw or paint.
As tall as a palm tree,
With zero chance to be free,
I stood up, I stood up
With my broken pencil in hand
To write on every street wall
My last declaration:
I am a man
Who filled his empty days
With pencil drawings and long walks;
Who now owns nothing
But the wind, the broken pencil,
And an empty belly full of crap.”
One freezing early morning,
I took my drawings in my backpack and tore up my middle school degree;
I kissed my mother’s head, turned my back
Upon the cottage, and headed towards Tangiers port.
Damnation and renunciation are my laws;
Boldness, defiance, and eagerness become new mottoes.
I determined either to die in this paper-thin boat
Or shine like a boy’s pure dream on the Spanish coast.